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Israeli intelligence minister: Iran behind the Hamas war

“The fingerprints of Iran can be found on every conflict now underway in the Middle East, from Gaza to Lebanon to the Red Sea,” Gila Gamliel tells JNS.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel. Credit: Courtesy.
Israeli Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel. Credit: Courtesy.

Iran is the underlying cause of the war with Hamas in Gaza and the other conflicts now engulfing the region, Israel’s intelligence minister said on Sunday.

“The fingerprints of Iran can be found on every conflict now underway in the Middle East, from Gaza to Lebanon to the Red Sea,” Minister Gila Gamliel said in an interview with JNS.  “If anyone should be charged in U.N. court with genocide it is the Islamic Republic,” she said, referring to the suit filed against Israel at the International Court of Justice by South Africa.

Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre, which triggered the war, would not have been possible without the vast support Iran provides its proxy, comprising some 95% of its budget, said Gamliel.

The U.S. administration has previously said that Iran was complicit in the attack via their financing, support and training of Hamas, even if they did not directly plan the massacre.

Echoing recent comments by Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff. Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, Gamliel said that the war would last “many more months,” even in its new, lower-intensity stage, and that “difficult times” remain ahead.

Still, she predicted that Iran’s long-term goal of scuttling a regional peace agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which had been widely expected this winter, was likely to fail even if the war pushed such an accord back.

“It’s clear that Iran wanted to prevent a peace agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia, but in the end they will not succeed,” she said.

Gamliel, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, said that as the war entered its four month, the end of Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip and the return of the remaining hostages remain Israel’s overarching goals, and will be met despite international pressure to end the war.

“The war cannot and does not have any other outcome short of this,” she said. “We cannot—and will not—end this war before we achieve our goals.”

Holding back Hezbollah

According to Gamliel, despite carrying out daily attacks on northern Israel since Oct.7, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon appears to be holding back from launching an all-out war with Israel. She attributed this to a mixture of Israeli deterrence, the images of destruction coming from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and international pressure.

“If they escalate [further], we will too,” she warned. “Hezbollah and Hezbollah alone will be responsible for the destruction of Lebanon if they carry out such a move.”

Gamliel said that it was too soon to say if diplomatic moves would succeed in getting Hezbollah to pull back from Israel’s northern border as stipulated by a U.N. Security Council Resolution but that Israel was giving diplomacy a chance.

International action needed against Houthis in the Red Sea

Another spoke in Iran’s axis of terror is Yemen’s Ansar Allah rebel group, which has been attacking international shipping passing through the Red Sea. The Houthi attacks are a global challenge which needs to be stopped by the international community before the Iranian proxy group is further emboldened, said Gamliel.

It is “beyond obvious” that the Houthis are terrorists, she said, adding that they should be re-classified as such both by the U.S. administration, which took Ansar Allah off the terror blacklist after Joe Biden’s election, and the world community.

“These groups [Hamas, Hezbollah and Ansar Allah] are all Iran’s tentacles,” she said.

Topsy-turvy

The intelligence minister went on to state that it was “the height of absurdity,” a “blood libel” and Orwellian that Israel should be charged with genocide by South Africa at The Hague and not the Iranian regime operating these terror proxies throughout the region while at the same time killing its own civilians.

“The true genocide that was carried out was the deliberate genocide by Iran’s proxy Hamas on Oct. 7 against the State of Israel, with the brutal murders, rapes and beheadings of men, women and children,” she said. “Any fair-minded person will agree.”

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